Los Angeles records nearly 400 mudslides during storm that has drenched Southern California

Home owner Dion Peronneau recounts on Tuesday how she was awoken by the sound of cracking around 4 a.m. Monday morning as a mudflow forced its way into her home early in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES — One of the wettest storms in Southern California history unleashed nearly 400 mudslides in the Los Angeles area after dumping more than half the amount of rainfall the city typically gets in a season in just two days, and officials warned Tuesday that the threat was not over yet.

The storm continued to pose new hazards, with the National Weather Service issuing a rare tornado warning for San Diego County. The warning was cancelled shortly after it was issued, with forecasters explaining that the storm no longer appeared capable of producing a twister even if it briefly turned some San Diego streets into rivers.


Officials expressed relief that the storm hadn’t yet killed anyone or caused a major catastrophe in Los Angeles despite its size and intensity, though there were six deaths reported elsewhere, including one early Tuesday at the California-Mexico border when someone trying to enter the United States was swept up by a swollen Tijuana River channel, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Karen Bass thanked residents for heeding calls to stay off roads and urged people to continue doing so through the end of Tuesday, when the rain was expected to stop.

“Los Angeles can handle very big challenges. And if we stick together, we will come out so far ahead,” she said.

The slow-moving storm that blew into the city on Sunday and then parked itself could still produce fierce downpours of up to an inch (roughly 2.5 centimeters) of rain in an hour, the weather service said. That could be particularly precarious since the soil is already saturated after back-to-back atmospheric rivers walloped California in less than a week.

Crews have responded to 383 mudslides, and seven buildings have been deemed uninhabitable, officials said. Another 10 buildings were yellow-tagged, meaning residents could go back to get their belongings but could not stay there because of the damage.

Bass said the city does not yet have the total number of homes that were damaged by the storm and noted the city’s emergency shelters were full.

Dion Peronneau was trying to get her artwork and books out of her home, which was smashed into by a mudslide.

“Eight feet of mud is pressed up against my window that is no longer there,” she said. “They put up boards to make sure no more mud can come in.”

Despite the damage, she said she was grateful that no one was hurt when the mud knocked her sliding glass doors off their frame and came pouring into her home of 25 years.

The California Highway Patrol said a 69-year-old man died Monday after his truck went down an embankment and filled with water in Yucaipa, about 80 miles (128 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. Another accident in nearby Fontana killed a 23-year-old man after the car he was in crashed into a tow truck in the rain, the agency said.

Three people were killed in Northern California after the storm came ashore over the weekend with strong winds that toppled trees.

Most of Southern California remained under flood watches, and the weather service warned people to remain on high alert as swollen and fast-moving creeks and rivers increase the risk of drowning.

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